Fine scale patterns of water quality in three regions of Marylands Coastal Bays: assessing nitrogen source in relation to land use
Intensive sampling of the Maryland Coastal Bays in May and July of 2007 served to further assess spatial patterns in nutrients, responses of biological indicators, seasons, land use, and nutrient cycling. Trends indicated degraded water quality, high tubidity, increasing total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations, high natural isotope abundance (δ15N), and low dissolved oxygen. The abundance of crop agriculture and development of the St. Martin River watershed indicates terrestrial sources of poor water quality, especially in upstream reaches, but no such land use connection has been reported for the region of Johnsons Bay. The difference between these two coastal bays may be their flushing and nutrient cycling abilities, in conjunction with adjacent land use.